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Pikeville Fire Chief Retires after 47 Years of Service

Retired Pikeville Fire Chief Paul Swafford

After 47 years of service, with 26 years as Pikeville’s Fire Chief, Paul Swafford has retired. He will remain an honorary member.

He was instrumental in many of the department’s successes and formed two mutual aid associations during his time.

He twice served as President of the Tennessee Firemen’s Association and served with the Tennessee Fire Service Coalition.

Swafford has gone above and beyond to serve Pikeville under several administrations without ever being paid for his services.

He wrote and was awarded many public and private grants, saving the city millions of dollars over his tenure. In addition, with one of the many grants he obtained, several individuals were allowed to obtain their EMT certification at no cost.

During his time, several apparatuses were upgraded to maintain services and to reduce costly maintenance burdens on taxpayers. In 1997, the department had three apparatuses in service, but now the department has five, plus one UTV and one mobile SCBA filling station/command center in service.

One of his largest areas of focus was always promoting training within the department and county. Under Swafford’s leadership, many personnel became certified firefighters, some seeking the emergency services industry as their life-long careers.